My journey took me to a small town in the middle of nowhere Sweden where the sun shines 23 hours a day in the summer, but the sun barely breaks through the 23 hour long darkness during the winter of discontent. Ulf Samuelsson, a professional hockey player who played for the NY Rangers, is the most famous person from these parts of the inlands, where most of the men my age have been working in the copper mines for over two decades. I wasn't there to pay homage to Ulf, rather, I intended on seeking out their second most famous resident.
I staked out the local Ikea and waited for Isilidur1, who was there to purchase a new Joakim swivel chair, because everyone knows that a comfortable chair is essential for a 22-hour marathon session of online poker. I ambushed the enigmatic online pro in the parking lot. He mistook me for a local heroin addict, cursed at me in Swedish, and threw a wad of Kronors at me. When I screamed out in English that I was a poker writer seeking an interview, he spit at me and tried to grab my junk. A scuffle ensued. I put him in a headlock and threatened to break his mouse finger if he didn't agree to an interview. He attempts to bribe me with a Full Tilt dart board and a $500 gift card to Ikea, but I wouldn't budge. I bent back his index finger and nearly snapped it off. He finally caved.
I successfully tracked down the man believed to be Islidur1. He refused to let me watch him play online poker. I could only sweat his tables while logged onto Full Tilt in the lobby of the local inn. He let me follow him around town for a day which he spent the majority of the time drinking at two out of the three town pubs, betting on Champions League soccer games with local bookies, and eating shrimp on toast. I started to wonder if any of this was all a dream, or if I was part of a hoax, like morons showing up at Loch Ness hoping to find Barney swiming in the lake.
To this day, Islidur1 vehemently denies that our conversations took place. He also denied that he is Isildur1, despite the fact it the two or three days I spent with him, he was constantly clad in the same "I am Isiludr1" t-shirt which I discovered that he was selling for $25 a pop on the internet.
At any rate, here are excerpts from our Frost/Nixon type of conversations...
Tao: Are you really in that much fear of the Swedish government? I don't buy it. Tell me the real reason that you are in hiding?That's it for now. I'm gonna post more excerpts at a later date. I figured that I would publish these as soon as possible before Isildur1's attorneys slap Blogger/Google with a C&D order.
Isildur1: "I hate people. Online poker allows me to maintain a solitary existence. In order to make a living, I also don't have to sit on a train in the morning with all of those other boring commuters to a menial job in Stockholm where I can't wait until Friday afternoons when I get shitfaced with my co-workers. I can't live like that -- working like a muppet for five days straight counting the hours until the weekend when you pretty much drink yourself numb and sleep the rest of the time you're not walking around IKEA listening to your wife bitch and moan because they ran out of grey soup bowls and now she can't make her Grandma's secret recipe for ärtsoppa."
Tao: Why have you shunned the media?
Isildur1: "You are pawns for your fascists overlords; you spread lies and make money pushing forth the propaganda for the military-industrial-entertainment complex. You make all of us high stakes players look like morons and reckless gamblers. We're the best of the best. Poker players are artists....like Picasso. We're poets like Cordozar Calvin Broadus. We're chefs like Chef Boyardee. I despise the entire poker media, nothing more than a bunch of wankers who can't even get a bloody suit correct. There's only fuckin' four, mate. How hard can it be? I hate all of you media morons, especially nosy writers."
Tao: Why are Scandis some of the best players in the world?
Isildur1: "It's political. I'm an anarchist and I thrive on chaos. The best way to disrupt society is to implode the entire financial system. I want to win money from capitalist American pigs and Eurotrash elite to bankrupt them and bring them to their knees. You have to understand something. I'm Swedish. I didn't pick that. I was born into it. I blame my parents who spawned me against my will. That's why I dropped out of school when I was ten years old to become a poker pro.
Scandis are the best players in the world because you boorish Americans are too full of yourselves to know how to read us. We're cooler than the other side of the your Gösa Pinhe pillow. We don't express ourselves like you over dramatic Americans. It's not in our nature. We deflect all of our emotions inward. I'm constantly depressed but unlike you Americans, I'm unable to sing the blues. That's why I play online poker. It's the hose that I attach to my soul and siphon out all of the negative energy. Every time I put a bad beat on someone, I'm transferring all of my pain onto my opponent.
When I win pots, the rush is glorious. I have to play with condoms on my penis because I ejaculate uncontrollably when I win mönsterpöttens worth more than your house."
Tao: What was the most money you ever lost in a prop bet?
Isildur1: "I went to a bar in Bucharest that had a brothel above it. The whores put on live sex shows. One of them placed golf balls in their vaginas and shot it across the room into a bucket. I bet Martonas $100,000 that one whore couldn't make six in a row at 3-1 odds. She queefed the first five balls perfectly into bucket. On her sixth and final ball, her trajectory was a little low and the ball hit the rim and shot up into the air...only to drop into the bucket. Talk about a bad beat. That Romanian vag cost me 300K."
Tao: What kind of music do you listen to when you play poker?
Isildur1: "It depends on who I play. If I'm up against Ivey, it's all Jay-Z, 2 Live Crew, and Teddy Pendergrass. Lots of heavy metal when I play against Patrik. Very loud. I listen to Radiohead and Hootie and the Blowfish when I'm heads up with Gus Hansen. I also prefer to listen to Chopin and Frank Zappa when I play against those bourgeois kids from Card Runners. When I play against durrrr, I want to get inside his head, so I listen to Abba and the soundtrack from Glee."